feature chevron one team raises $20,000 in support of MS research

One hundred and eighty kilometres traversed by bike over two days is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re up for a personal challenge in pursuit of a great cause, it’s a worthwhile undertaking.

For the second year in a row, Chevron Canada participated in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Bike charity ride with the Chevron One Team riding from Airdrie to Olds this past June.

The 11-member team raised $20,088 CAD—exceeding its 2018 contribution of $17,602 CAD—with each team member raising a minimum of $350 to participate in the ride. For the second year, Chevron was recognized as one of the top 10 fundraisers, with money raised going towards world-leading research in the discovery of a first treatment for progressive MS and ultimately a cure.

“I’m proud of my Chevron One Team teammates for the enthusiasm and energy they displayed,” said Doug Clark, staff technical geophysicist at Chevron Canada. “We stepped up our game to support the MS Society of Canada and challenged ourselves in doing so.”

Members of the Chevron One Team pose before starting the MS Bike charity ride

MS in Canada

According to the MS Society of Canada, Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, with an estimated one in every 385 Canadians living with the disease. It is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord) with physical, emotional and financial effects.

On average, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with MS each day.

“It can be scary to think of the distance, but the point of the ride is to make you feel a bit uncomfortable; living with MS isn’t comfortable,” explained Sinead Tracey, geophysicist at Chevron Canada and organizer of Chevron’s participation in the MS Bike event.

“When you think of it that way, a little discomfort on the bike isn’t so bad. Plus, we do a lot of preparation together to build up to that distance, so there’s support and encouragement to complete the ride.”

The Chevron One team pose in front of a MS Bike banner to celebrate

preparing for the ride

Leading up to the event, the Chevron cycle club organizes weekend rides to help build endurance, in Calgary and surrounding areas or in the mountains. The event is accessible and available to all levels of riders but developing endurance is a critical aspect of any skill set.

“The ride is fully supported with food, support vehicles, technical assistance and nice accommodation,” said Tracey, encouraging any interested cyclists to consider joining next year’s ride. “And the Chevron team helps each other out with advice on gear and what to bring. The company has also been really encouraging of our participation, which has been great!”

Even with all that preparation, the ride was still a challenge, but a fulfilling one at that.

“Day one was a tough day, head wind all the way and by the end the team was exhausted,” said Erik Christiaansen, drilling superintendent for Chevron Canada. “Fortunately, day two was a bit more forgiving and the wind died down—just a light sprinkle from time to time.”

“This ride was a great reminder that it feels good to do challenging things. It's even better when it helps others as well,” said Andrea Coli, drilling engineering and operations advisor. “MS Bike was extremely well organized, a great way to connect with Chevron colleagues across functions, and a lot of fun. Come join us next year!”

The team is already planning for next year’s charity ride, once again putting human energy towards a great cause.